Paradise Now? Word on the Week 11th March 2023.
This week the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he is to make Ireland “a world leader on gender equality in all its forms”. This is a subject in which he has a personal interest and it provides him with some relief from the dreadful housing crisis in which the country languishes.
He proposes a referendum in the Autumn on Articles 41.1 & 2 of the Constitution to change its wording. At present it recognises the Family as the fundamental unit of society. It also states that a woman’s work in the home is a factor towards the common good. It goes on to state that mothers shall not be required to work outside the home to earn income which may come with the neglect of their duties in the home. Finally, he proposes to introduce ‘gender equality’.
In summary these are the three changes envisaged: – The definition of the family; The place of women in the home and introduction of ‘gender equality’. The latter is contrary to God’s design which is gender complementary between male and female.
The Article was written in a time (1937) when the traditional roles of husband, the breadwinner, wife, the homemaker, and the family were to be reared in a state of domestic harmony. It acknowledges in no uncertain terms that families were the building blocks of society.
Fast forward to today. We have the same parents and children but the circumstances are radically different. There has been a rebellion against the traditional pattern of life. ‘Man has become the measure of all things’ to quote Protagoras the Greek who lived 490 – 420 BC.
The Bible introduces us to marriage in Genesis 1 verse 28. The text goes on to anticipate a family i.e. ‘be fruitful and multiply’. Both events pre-date the fall and are for all time. There are numerous illustrations in the Bible using marriage as an illustration of the relationship between God and his people (Ezekiel 16 verse 8 and Ephesians 5 verse 32, Revelation 19 verse 7).
We live in an era where the sub-text of major discussions is to edit God’s word out of the conversation. In our desire for ‘paradise now’ we want to introduce our design in place of the divine one. It is somewhat like the man who turned up at the royal banquet in his own clothes. It seems he had set aside what God had provided – similar to what we are doing today. Jesus’ parable asked the question which is better answered in this life by committing your life to Jesus and then live to obey his word (Matthew 22 verses 1 to 14 especially 11/12).
Then it will not be paradise now we will be looking for but paradise future (John 14 verses 1 to 6).